[17:00] A day of getting things done. Preparations for tomorrow morning's
patching, a gym session at lunchtime where I tweaked my lower back loading a
barbell rather than actually doing an exercise, and an afternoon of perspiring
very slightly in an overly hot office.
I'm going to cycle carefully home now and make sure that the house is ready for
the people doing the EWI to potentially turn up in the next two days and start
errecting scaffolding. I mowed the lawns last night, which was necessary for
Rachel's family visit anyway, but it's good that I've done it before the
scaffolders arrive. I will need to go and move the garden furniture again
though, just as I'd got it ready to put out for this weekend.
Anyway, I'm in early tomorrow morning to patch and reboot two servers (one
physical, one virtual), so that should be fun.
[16:30] Rachel arrived late last night after seeing her parents off at an
airport. I managed to get myself out of bed to greet her, just about. We
didn't sleep terribly well past about 04:00 owing to not having been around each
other much recently (the same thing happened on Sunday night). However, we were
just about awake enough to enjoy the morning together before she had to dash off
to catch her train (which was delayed, and therefore got her to work a little
late). I cycled to the bike shop with the replacement freehub I got a few
weeks ago, but didn't have time to make time to get fitted, and then ran to work
after that. I don't know if it was hot, or simply just humid, but it wasn't the
easiest run in the world. However, after a shower and some mixed nuts and
raisins I seemed to perk up somewhat. Most of the morning was spent preparing
and then executing an upgrade of my Red Hat Satellite installation from 6.2.14
to 6.2.15. Not a lot to change, but it always pays to do belt-and-braces with
that particular bit of software. I imagine the next upgrade will be to 6.3.x,
which is a whole other board game, although having VMWare snapshots to fall back
on make it much less of a freaking out situation. Over lunch I did quite a slow
6K run, showered, and got back to work again. Now I'm about to get back into my
running kit for the third time today, collect my bike and cycle home to mow and
strim the lawns. Cormac'll also be coming round to swap some DVDs that he's
been digitising for us.
[17:15] "What I Did On My Weekend", by me. On Saturday morning I toddled along
to parkrun and, even though the temperature was fairly low, only managed a run
almost a minute slower than the previous week. I don't know if it's the weight
training I'm doing, or something else, but I do feel like running is a lot
harder than it was during marathon training. After that though I went home and
had a shower and some breakfast and then dashed to Tesco as fast as I could so
as to be back in time for the Ikea delivery. This was due to arrive any time
after 11:00. In the end it didn't arrive until 13:30, but that was OK as it
meant I got to tidy a little more, put up another picture, and have some lunch.
I then spent the afternoon building the shelving/cabinet for the dining room,
and the chest of drawers for the spare bedroom. I unpacked the desk (for the
spare bedroom) but decided I'd done enough for the day at around 18:40. I
treated myself to a Chinese takeaway and then went to bed some time later on.
On Sunday morning, having chatted to Rachel via text, I ran what I hoped would
be an equal run to her at around the same time in the morning (it later turned
out she hadn't been able to run after all), got cleaned up and shaved, had some
breakfast and then assembled the desk, which took somewhat longer than I was
expecting. However, it all came off without a hitch. I did some more house
consolidation and then left for the train station in good time so as not to get
sweaty. Down in London Rachel and I met at Liverpool Street and we headed to
meet one of her university friends for birthday drinks before heading down to
Croydon for the evening. I wasn't feeling all that upbeat for whatever reason,
so it was a quiet evening in. This morning I got delayed by the continuing
train issues, but still managed to get to work before 09:30, which was more than
good enough. I've managed to decommission nine physical servers today, which is
excellent, and three virtual servers, which is almost as good. All but one of
the physical servers are IBMs, which I'm so very glad to see the back of,
finally. I've logged a support case for another server, but had no reply from
the usually very responsive engineer I usually contact, got some money back from
the really nice people at an online sports shop I use, and even been for an
hour's good gymming, when I thought I wasn't in the mood. I'm going to head
home now and put 16 rubber ferrules on the legs of my dining chairs, and then
wait for Rachel to arrive from seeing her parents off from an airport. With a
bit of effort on my part we should have a lovely evening and early morning
[16:35] Friday Friday. Hurrah. Finally. Anyway, I still managed to get up
early, even today when I didn't need to. Something to do with the light, I
think. And my religious adhering to going to bed before 22:30 when at all
possible. I honestly think that's what's slowly been getting rid of the shadows
under my eyes over the last few years. It's taking a long time, but they're
really faded compared to how they used to be. Anyway, I digress. Last night I
went home via the hardware store and bought some rubber ferrules (I'd forgotten
that was their name). It turned out that they were only big enough to fit on my
clothes rack (which needed a set of four). Consequently, on the way to the pub
this evening I'll be taking the remainder back for a refund. I also bought some
eye screws and some picture wire, so the picture that's going to go above the
bed is now ready for hanging. Given the picture hook for it is going into a
party wall I've elected to wait until around midday tomorrow to do that so as
not to wake anyone next door (not that they have any problem talking overly
loudly late into the night every day of the week sometimes). At work today I've
done a lot of small but useful things, patched some servers which'd somehow been
left off the patching schedule (but I'd noticed them in Red Hat Satellite as
well behind on patches), got some other stuff scheduled, fixed a few things,
been to the gym over lunch time, and even managed to snatch a few seconds of
conversation with a very busy Rachel).
This weekend I'll probably be doing parkrun, then getting home and cleaned up in
time for an Ikea delivery. I'll attempt to make as much of the furniture as I
can before Sunday afternoon when I'll be getting a train to Croydon to see
Rachel (who'll be busy until then with work stuff). Other things to fit in
include going to Tesco and potentially a long run if I've got enough of the
furniture built (although I do have every evening next week except Friday
evening) to get it done, too.
[16:10] My final day of coming in early, at least for this week. There'll be a
few times over the next few weeks when I'll have to do it again as there are
still a few servers which need patching. I see at least four more days over the
next three weeks. This morning's patching went perfectly, thank goodness.
There were four physical servers with a mass of firmware updates and all four of
them patched cleanly, which was nice. Given the preparatory work I'd done the
services on them were actually only down for about ten minutes or so, which was
also pretty neat.
The remainder of the day I've been clearing up some of the red lights on our
issues reporting system, going for an 8K run at lunchtime which left me more
tired that it should be (I do wonder what's going on there; it can't just be
that it's hotter and I'm also doing weights now), and generally doing a few bits
and bobs here and there to keep things running more smoothly.
As I got in early I'm going to head off shortly via B&Q for some
picture-hanging stuff and potentially even some rubber feet for one of my
clothes driers and my dining table chairs. Then it's another evening of
thinking about what to have for dinner, having dinner, doing a bit more tidying,
and then going to bed.
[16:45] So apparently the machines I patched and rebooted cleanly this morning
weren't supposed to be done this morning, but Friday, but the ones I'm doing
tomorrow are still good for tomorrow. I don't think anyone noticed, other than
the DBAs/developers I told that everything had gone fine, but it was a bit of
an oversight and, I think, down to things changing after I'd already put things
in my calendar. Either that or I just got the numbers wrong from the beginning.
In any event, it still means I get Friday to wake up/come in to work a little
later/at a more normal time. I'm not really sure what happened, if I'm honest.
In other news one of the benefits I get from my bank hasn't been coming through
to me because their email system seems to think the domain I have in my email
address doesn't exist... despite me getting plenty of emails from other email
systems/servers without issue. It does make me wonder a little how many other
emails I might not be getting. The thing is, the person who owns the mail
domain is about as competent as it gets when it comes to email (and anything
else IT) so I don't think it's his fault.
In other news I've prepared five physical servers and ten virtual servers for
patching and rebooting tomorrow morning. Hopefully everything will go off
without issue. We'll see. For now I'm off home to try and do a bit more
winnowing of 'stuff' in the house/mainly the box room, and then relax for the
rest of the day and try not to think about the things I still need to do (like
mowing the lawns). And in other, other news, my USB3.0 SATA dual drive caddy
thing arrived last night and I was able to look at a few spare drives I have
hanging around and work out which ones are blank and which are broken. An IDE
version would be useful once I get my really old 'games' PC up and running
again, but we'll have to see if I can borrow one as IDE isn't really something I
expect to have a great need for in the future.
Went to the gym at lunch time. Ended up doing a fair bit of lower body stuff,
so tomorrow's run could be just as uncomfortable as yesterday's.
[16:25] The second early morning of the week and things seemed to go perfectly
well, as far as I could tell. I even got to prod the DBAs about the frankly
stupid amount of old versions of certain bits of software they've left
installed. Whether or not they're going to do anything about it remains to be
seen, but at least it's on their radar for the time being, and I also got a few
more servers patched and rebooted, which was the main thing from my point of
Otherwise today I've done a lot of useful organising of things via email,
cleaned up things being reported on our monitoring system, prepared servers for
tomorrow and Thursday morning's patching, and even managed to stagger around 6K
of run at lunchtime (the DOMS I was 'hoping' for duly appeared). It's back to
the gym again tomorrow lunch time, although I don't think I'll punish my glutes
and legs specifically tomorrow, just as part of a balanced workout. For the
time being I think just twice a week will do.
I'm off home shortly as I was in early today, then Cormac'll be popping around
to collect some DVDs to digitise for us both. Hopefully, some stuff I ordered
from Amazon has arrived downstairs and I'll get to try it out this evening.
[17:00] Happy Monday, or something. Hello, anyway. The weekend was nice, thank
you for asking. Saturday morning we did parkrun together. By which I mean we
started at the same time and then Rachel finished 29 seconds ahead of me,
because she's a faster runner than I am. We then went home and made pancakes,
which is always a good thing. After that there was some washing up, some
ordering of furniture and bedding online and then the hammering of things into
walls to hang up pictures. Amazingly, same-day delivery on some stuff was
cheaper than having some stuff next day from Amazon, so a few things arrived in
the evening, which was great. Sadly, Rachel had to head off to be in Croydon in
time to get to something on Sunday morning she she left and I settled in in
front of the television. On Sunday morning, in solidarity with Rachel I ran 8-9
miles in the morning before showering and having breakfast. Then, rather than
sit in front of the television all day, I tidied and threw things out, watched a
bit of television, went to Tesco, did some more consolidation, more television,
moved a bookshelf into the porch (it makes sense), and did some washing of
bedding in preparation for Rachel's brother's family coming the weekend after
next. The Ikea order I did on the Saturday has been scheduled for this Saturday
coming, so I'll have plenty of time to get it assembled and the room it's
destined for ready for staying in. The smallest room just needs needs me to go
through the remainder of my computer junk and work out what's staying and then
that'll be ready too. The fold-up bed I got can go in there now as it folds up
This morning was the first day of four this week when I come in early to patch
and reboot servers. Everything went pretty smoothly apart from a few SysV
scripts taking forever and leaving me feeling like something had gone wrong.
I'll be ready for that tomorrow morning and going forward. Over the course of
the day I prepared for tomorrow morning's patching, helped solve an issue
which'd been bugging me since after I wrote Friday's journal, went for what I
hope was a reasonably tough legs and glutes session at the gym (we'll have to
see if I get DOMS tomorrow or not), and gently sweated in a rather hot office.
I'm off home now to do a little bit of sorting/rationalising, eat some dinner,
and then get another early night for tomorrow morning. Hopefully the weather
will be as nice tomorrow as it is right now. It'd also be nice if I was getting
to be out in a bit more, too.
[16:45] Rachel arrived last night, yay! I left her slowly waking up this
morning so I could get to work just a shade after 09:00. Today has been a
muggy, close day in the office. However, other than a few systemd-related
server issues this morning, and a weird and intractable Oracle HTTP
Server-related issue this afternoon, everything seems to have been fairly quiet.
I even got to go to the gym at lunch time, which was a nice break from sitting
in my office chair. I've also ordered a dual disk caddy thing so I can mount
the HDD from my Windows 10 server on my new Linux under-TV installation. Not to
mention a SATA power splitter, so I can potentially plug it in internally
instead. We'll see.
I'm off now for the weekend, which I'll be spending with Rachel until she heads
home on Saturday evening for stuff on Sunday. As I think I said, she probably
won't be coming back again on Sunday afternoon (that's a lot of travel) so
that'll mean I have all of Sunday to myself to... do something with. I'm not
sure what at the moment. I'm equally unsure what we'll be doing tomorrow
either, but hopefully it'll involve fun.
[17:10] After yesterday's work from home I was in excessively early to patch
around 32 servers this morning. All but two of them were virtual, and of those
about six didn't reboot quickly, for some reason, but just sat around for a
while. I'm not sure why. One of the physical servers decided to really make a
scene and required a co-worker and I to go over there, boot from rescue media
and make changes to files before it would boot. I probably could have done it
on my own, but it was far more pleasant to have someone there to second-guess my
actions and make sure I didn't do anything stupid. Or at least not stupid
enough that two people thought so.
Back in the office afterwards I upgraded the PHP on four servers, set some ACLs,
and generally did a barrel-load of other stuff. Over lunch there was time for a
small 6K run to check on my achilles recovery (everything seems mostly OK), and
then to cycle over to one of the server rooms to replace a HDD in a RAID1 set.
My replacement washer hose (sheathed in metal, for mouse-proofedness) arrived at
work today, so once I get home from here (via a hardware store for mouse traps,
and Tesco for dinner bits and bobs) I'll be installing that and getting the
washer back in place. Then there might just be time to install Fedora 28 on a
new under-TV computer to replace the Windows 10 PC that ate itself upgrading
from build 1709 to 1803. I still need the HDD out of the Windows box for the
media on the D: drive, but otherwise I don't think there's anything of value on
it, precisely for reasons like this.
And finally and most importantly, Rachel is due this evening, hurrah. She'll be
staying until late on Saturday, and then heading back to Croydon so she's in the
right place for some stuff she has to do on Sunday. I don't imagine she'll be
coming back again after that's done, so I won't then see her again until the end
of next week. Still, a fair bit of time for us to be together before then,
[17:15] I got in early this morning after a not-entirely-satisfactory night's
sleep to patch about 30 servers. Happily, more than half of them were virtual
servers, so they patched and rebooted without me having to think about hardware
much at all. Even more happily all of the servers which had actual hardware
(and which I'd staged firmware updates) also rebooted cleanly too, which was
nice. What wasn't nice was that I got the opportunity to patch and reboot some
Oracle VM servers and guests, and one of them went very weird for a while...
before sorting itself out as near as I can tell. Just another reason why I hope
we never have to do anything new with Oracle VM in the future and we can just
let it die when the hardware goes out of date/support.
Otherwise I spent the day wondering whether I should, and then whether I should
have, gone to the gym at lunch time as I wasn't going to run with my achilles
tendon still noticably unhappy. I didn't go in the end, obviously. I'll go
tomorrow lunchtime instead, and hope that I can run on Thursday lunch time. Not
that I have any races even booked at the moment, but I don't want to detrain any
more than I feel I have at this point.
It would be really nice to have Rachel to go home to today (or any/ever day, if
I'm honest), but she's incredibly busy this week and next, so I just hope she's
having a 'good'/useful time of things. I will see her on Thursday evening
though, and she's working from my house on the Friday, which is definitely a
Oh, I have a Neff engineer coming "between 07:30 and 17:00" tomorrow to fix my
oven light. I know I should have tried to just order the parts myself and get
stuck in, but I seriously don't want to break the thing just because I didn't
want to incur the callout fee. I'm still a little worried that the engineer is
going to arrive without both of the parts I think he needs, but we'll see. As a
consequence of the wide window of potential arrival time I'm going to be working
from home tomorrow, unless he comes in fairly early in the day... so I guess no
gym for me after all.
[17:450] Well, as expected, the race on Sunday was hard, and Rachel ended up
beating me by at least three minutes. Probably a little more than that. I
have no excuses other than it was hot, and I've detrained significantly since
the marathon. Also afterwards my left achilles was seriously uncomfortable,
verging on rather painful. However, leading up to the race everything was fine.
I had Friday evening at home to relax, then took trains to Croydon on the
Saturday morning. I arrived in time for us to go to Rachel's favourite local
eatery to eat, then we had an afternoon of relaxing and doing semi-useful stuff
before bed time. Sunday morning was all about cycling to our collection point,
being driven to the race, racing, and then coming home.
I'm afraid most of today has been spent trying to get Virgin Trains to cough up
the money for two single tickets Rachel and I used to get to Manchester for the
marathon back in April (purchased in January). I won't bore you with the
details, but Virgin Trains are apparently going to reimburse some random off the
internet (via PayPal) and only for half of the tickets, at that. Going through
the Live Chat and even the phone system was a lesson in frustration and I'm
really going to need to cycle carefully home rather than raging my way across
Of course, once I get home I still have to go out and do the week's grocery
shopping, which definitely isn't top of the things I'd like to be doing this
My left achilles still hurts, my right tricep aches, and my lower back is still
stiff and sore. Whinge whinge whinge. And I have to be in early tomorrow
morning to patch and reboot about 26 servers.
[15:30] A quick pop to Croydon last night turned into a little bit of a mission
as the trains still aren't running correctly owing to conflicting and various
reasons as to why. In any event, I am some friends still got there in the end.
We met up with Rachel and quickly inhaled some food as I for one was absolutely
famished. Then it was time for the show which was... OK. Nothing spectacular,
but funny in places. Disappointingly low on audience, but I think we made
enough noise for the acts to feel like they were appreciated. Rachel and I went
back to her house for the night and everyone else attempted to go home on the
train. I think they made it on a direct one, amazingly.
This morning I woke up with a sore throad and a running nose, again. It was
early, but we both managed to get out of the house on time/a little early due to
my paranoid about missing my train(s). I was also feeling a little
odd/down/weird, too. However, that seems to have evaporated for the most part
of the course of concentrating on the working day.
At work today I've mostly been slowly setting up users such that they can
configure the applications on a server I set up recently. Otherwise it has
mostly been about preparing servers for patching next week, trying not to pull
the trigger on firmware staging (never do something like that on a Friday), and
getting into discussions about which of the six doors to our office (don't ask)
we should get keys for given the hightened security that's being enacted here
due to various things going on.
In other news, I went to the gym I joined recently for the first time this lunch
time. I tried hard not to make it a big session my first time in years, but I
think I still gave it a good go. So much so that I had the shakes when I got
back to my desk (probably hunger pangs) and I'm pretty sure I'll have some form
of DOMS tomorrow. Speaking of tomorrow and the weekend, I'll be off to Croydon
again early/mid-morning to see Rachel, and then we'll be going to do a race on
Sunday morning. When we're not racing I imagine we'll be relaxing somehow,
somewhere. I don't expect to do amazingly well in the race, but I would at
least like to keep fairly close to Rachel. She's proven to almost always pull
something incredible out of the bag on race day, despite how she might feel
she's been doing in training. We'll have to see, I guess. Then I'll be back to
work on Monday morning, much like I was this morning.